Monday, July 30, 2018

Title: Truce
Series: Neighbor from Hell #4
Author: R.L. Mathewson

This is the story before everything... 

Elizabeth knows what’s expected of her, perfection. She’s the daughter of an Earl and expected to marry well, say and do the right things with a smile on her face when inside she’s dying for a chance to escape. Thanks to an inheritance her godmother left her years ago, her chance will come with her next birthday. Her hopes of escape abruptly end when Robert, her childhood nemesis that she hasn't seen in over fourteen years, comes back into her life and does everything he can to drive her out of her mind even as he steals her heart. 

He hated her. 

At least, he tried to hate her, but it was so damn difficult to hate someone that he couldn't live without. He tried to ignore her, tried to focus on anything but her, but nothing worked. Somehow she made her way into his heart and started to make him want things that he never thought possible, made him smile and laugh even while she drove him out of his mind and started a legacy by turning him into...

A Bradford.


Words cannot express how stunningly amazing this newest addition to the Neighbor from Hell series is. R.L. Mathewson took us back to the very beginning to show us just how we were blessed with our Bradford boys and their "quirks." It must be noted that this is an historical novel, of which I am not a fan, but R.L  has the esteemed honor of being my first. Lol.

Elizabeth Stanton knows her duty as the daughter of an Earl. She is expected to be perfect at all times, marry well (the higher the title, the better), and do as she is told with a smile on her face. But Elizabeth is rabid for an escape, and she's incredibly close to achieving the perfect one. Thanks to a very large inheritance from her Godmother due to her on her next birthday, Elizabeth will not need to suffer through a matched, loveless marriage, but will have her own income and land holdings. Of course, she never planned that her childhood nemesis would reappear in her life so abruptly and drive her mad in the process. Robert Bradford loathed Elizabeth. Growing up, they tormented each other mercilessly and frequently, but Robert blames Elizabeth for ruining his pleasant, privileged existence. When she carries their mischievous games too far and let's loose his deepest, darkest, secret, he is forever shunned, laughed at, and picked on until he grows large enough to defend himself. It has been fourteen years since they have seen each other, and one passionate night as strangers will forever change both of their hopes and dreams. Elizabeth is shocked to learn the man she connected with on more than one level is the boy who made her childhood miserable, and Robert is appalled that his little Minx is indeed the horrible woman that caused him so much pain. Thrust together by a tragic fire, Robert and Elizabeth are forced to endure each other's company for several weeks, but no one said it had to be amicable and pleasant. Games to outmaneuver and best the other immediately begin with no small amount of hostility, but deep down both Robert and Elizabeth cant forget the perfect moments they shared together.  Both fighting a pull that seems to test the bounds of their control, they both yearn for the other more and more, but know it is a foolish yearning. With their history and expectations of marriage for Elizabeth, it is hopeless. A surprising but not wholly unexpected revelation makes for heartbreaking misunderstandings and an unwanted marriage between the two. Robert is trying his best to ignore Elizabeth and hate her for what she did to him so many years ago, but somehow she's gotten under his skin and he can't stop wanting her and things he never imagined he'd want. Elizabeth's feelings for Robert are nothing like the hate and distrust she felt for him growing up, but how can she admit it to someone who loathes her so much? Being forced to marry him is not what she wanted. She never wanted to be the property of any man, but especially not to the man she loves who hates her. A devastating turn of events will seal their fates as their families prepare to cover up their sudden nuptials. With polite society and their own families against them, will Robert and Elizabeth recognize what they could have before they lose each other forever?

I love how R.L. wrote this. I was expecting to suffer through the historical aspect in order to get the story I've so desperately been wanting since first being introduced to the Bradford's.  It wasn't like that at all. From the first word I was pleasantly surprised while being pulled into a wonderful historical accounting. The trappings of history were diminished in my mind in favor of the story of true love that was at times both hilarious and heartbreaking. Honestly, I frequently forgot we were in the past and merely saw what was unfolding, which has never happened when I attempted a historical novel in the past. Both Robert and Elizabeth were exactly what we've come to expect from our neighbor from hell heroes and heroines. I loved how Robert wasn't completely Bradford from the start, but evolved due to his love for and interaction with Elizabeth. Elizabeth was independent, smart, and strong-willed; just the mix to balance the Bradford personality. My favorite aspect is how well R.L. tied the telling of how it all began with our present-day Bradford's.  It had the benefit of easing me into a different and difficult to understand time as though I was simply listening to a bedtime story. As I said, I'm in no way a fan of historicals, but couldn't avoid a chance to delve back into a world with incredible egos and insane amounts of food. Lol. I'm so glad I did, and don't think I'm suddenly gaga over historical novels, but would definitely take a chance on another by Ms. Mathewson, if she felt so inclined. <3
by Shooting Stars Reviews 5:30 AM No comments


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